Hero dog basks in twilight years

Best friends: Ouyang and Bingjie. — China Daily/ANN

NANJING: Ouyang Honghong, a fire department dog handler in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, walks Bingjie, his 14-year-old English springer spaniel sniffer dog, on the hill at the back of the fire station where he works.

Bingjie can no longer participate in rescue operations with Ouyang due to his age, but when he was younger he helped save 13 people from the rubble of the deadly magnitude 8 earthquake that hit Sichuan province in 2008.

His earlier training and missions have left many strains and injuries on his body and the old black-and-white dog also suffers from chronic diseases and a decline in cardiopulmonary function.

“He has poor hearing ability and chronic arthritis in his hind legs,” Ouyang said.

Bingjie was paired up with Ouyang in 2007 during a dog training course. The duo has participated in numerous rescue missions during natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and snowstorms.

“No matter how dangerous or difficult the mission was, Bingjie never held back,” Ouyang said.

Although Bingjie now walks with a stagger, his eyes still shine with enthusiasm and are always fixed on Ouyang when he trains young search and rescue dogs.

“His persistence and passion for work really impress me,” said Ouyang, adding that Bingjie did not stop searching until he found signs of life during the Wenchuan rescue mission. — China Daily/ANN

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